God in the Manger

It’s approaching Christmas time. We’re beginning, perhaps, to hear Christmas sermons, depending on how your tradition structures these things. In the Evangelical world someone somewhere is advising us to remember to include the cross in our preaching—don’t give them the cute and sentimentalised baby Jesus, remind them that the meaning of Christmas is found at… Continue reading God in the Manger

All Creation Waits

Autumn’s final blast of anger against Winter’s unthinking hate is over, every leaf that cannot cling to life has lit the match to self-immolate in protest. We have enjoyed the beauty of that unconstrained rage. This is the story the seasons tell—or one of them at any rate. Snow lay on the ground earlier this… Continue reading All Creation Waits

Advent is coming

Advent starts on Sunday, which will confuse some of you because you’re expecting it to start next Thursday. Others of you will be appalled at the idea of ‘doing Christmas’ in November—well we won’t be, we’ll be celebrating Advent. Advent is dark. Advent is bleak. Advent is about staring at the wretched core of the… Continue reading Advent is coming

After the Burning

The forest burned down since last I went. England has faced a series of brutal heatwaves this summer along with much of the rest of Europe. Wildfires are uncommon here, but in the hottest heatwave the Lickey Hills above Birmingham sparked into blaze. Acres of woodland at the edge of the city were gone across… Continue reading After the Burning

Feasting & Fasting

The Church Calendar is textured by periods of fasting followed by periods of feasting. For most 21st century Christians both seem pretty weird. Though my guess would be that you think you know your way around feasting—we are a culture of conspicuous consumption, after all—but fasting is anathema to the world we live in. Why… Continue reading Feasting & Fasting

Is the Church a Family?

An obvious yes, right? Except, where does it say that? You’re about to have a harder time than you expected. You might point to the use of genos in 1 Peter 2, though that’s usually translated ‘race’ and if we translated it family we would mean in the very broad sense that I and all… Continue reading Is the Church a Family?